The Challenge: Add Exercise To Your Life


Your physical health and mental health are directly related. Incorporating regular exercise into one’s routine has been consistently linked to numerous mental health benefits. Physical activity is associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of depression, and individuals who engage in regular exercise report fewer days of poor mental health compared to those who did not exercise. The positive impact of exercise in alleviating symptoms of anxiety disorders.*



When setting mental fitness goals around exercise, set goals that SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time-bound). Saying you plan to exercise more is vague and broad, but saying you will run for 30 minutes twice a week for three months is clear, measurable and achievable.

If you currently exercise regularly…great! Keep it up! If you exercise sporadically, try to find a way to make that exercise part of your routine. If you don’t currently exercise at all, spend each week this month trying something that you think you might enjoy. Remember, if you have health issues, you may want to consult your doctor before adding an exercise regiment. They may even be able to recommend one that is ideal for you.

Did you know that the Wellness Empowerment Center at People’s Places offers a variety of FREE exercise workshops? Take a look at their event calendar and maybe you’ll find one that’s right for you!




*Schuch, F. B., Vancampfort, D., Richards, J., Rosenbaum, S., Ward, P. B., & Stubbs, B. (2016). Exercise as a treatment for depression: A meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 77, 42-51.

*Chekroud, S. R., Gueorguieva, R., Zheutlin, A. B., Paulus, M., Krumholz, H. M., Krystal, J. H., & Chekroud, A. M. (2018). Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1·2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: A cross-sectional study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(9), 739-746.

*Stubbs, B., Koyanagi, A., Hallgren, M., Firth, J., Richards, J., Schuch, F., … & Carvalho, A. F. (2017). Physical activity and anxiety: A perspective from the World Health Survey. Journal of Affective Disorders, 208, 545-552.